MUMBAI | Centre for Science and Environment



Mumbai on the West coast of India is the financial capital of India. The City has grown phenomenally over the years with several suburbs and extended suburbs being added to it.  The city is bustling with over 18 million people.  Add to this the growing number of immigrants and the pressure on transportation systems. The city has one of the best public transport systems, with a network of suburban railways, public bus, auto rickshaws, taxis, radio cabs. But these do not meet the growing demand for travel. The city has to grapple with traffic congestion and health hazards from air pollution. The city will have to scale up its mobility transition.


Air and mobility facts

Vehicle: Galloping numbers   Air quality trends – Annual average levels of PM10 and NOx
How people travel? Maximum people are on foot, pedals, buses and autos  

Congestion indicators
Mumbai average journey speed (16 km/hr). 1 car for every 1.92 m of road, and the congestion is extremely high.


Public action:

Mumbai Environmental Social Network (MESN): Started in 2005 is primarily focused in providing discipline and governance oriented information and solutions to the growing traffic congestion.

Action: MESN has developed a web and SMS based comprehensive solution for Car Pooling and is working towards mobilizing the critical mass required to make a difference. The are also working towards a range of traffic management measures that include lane and Traffic management, use of space under the flyovers, carving out bus lane wherever possible, dedicated right turn lanes at junctions to reduce conflict and improve throughput, intelligent use of bollards to improve lane discipline and throughput, use of videography to compare the “Before” & “After” situations.

Key contact
Ashok Datar

Clean Air Group: This coalition of civil society groups and volunteers has played an important role


Policy action

Action on vehicles

- The city has introduced Bharat Stage Euro IV norms for vehicles in 2010

- Leaded petrol has been phased out in 2000.

- Sulphur content in transport fuels have been reduced to 50 ppm.

- Low smoke 2-T oil and pre-mix facilities are available since1998

- Benzene content in gasoline reduced to one percent.

- The city has implemented one of the largest CNG programme in the country. No. of vehicles: 190,926. This includes 1,547 buses, 130,447 autos, 1,829 light commercial vehicles, 56,061 cars and taxis,1,042  other vehicles. There are 136 CNG stations to serve these vehicles

- The Bombay High Court by their order dated 17th October, 2001 has also directed for phasing out of old commercial vehicles unless they are converted to run on LPG /CNG. So far various categories of old commercial vehicles have been phased out in a phased manner.

-  Mahanagar gas Limited is supplying CNG for vehicles through its 57 filling stations.

- The oil companies have set up about 15 LPG dispensing stations in Mumbai.

- There are 47 retrofitting workshops for fitment of CNG kits on the in-use four wheelers light vehicles like taxis, cars and 158 workshops for three wheelers auto rickshaws.

- For the retro fitment of LPG kits on four wheeler light vehicles, there are 166 workshops in Mumbai and three wheelers auto rickshaws the number of workshops are 179.

- 5 % ethanol blended gasoline introduced since January 2003.

- Bombay High Court is also examining the recommendation of the VM Lal Committee report in restraints on car usage

Action on industrial pollution

- Government of Maharashtra has implemented Industrial location policy and relocated some of the polluting industrial units from the city.

- Almost all the Industries have provided with pollution control systems.

- There were complaints of air pollution from the existing cluster of stone crushing and hot mix plants in Kandivili. The state pollution control board has directed these units to shift to the confirming zone.

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